We’re Testing an Electric Mercedes That Can Go 747 Miles on a Single Charge
IMMENDINGEN, Germany – Driving in a Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX was more stressful than I expected. Not only does that mean it’s hard to drive, or see out of the low-hanging chainsaw, but it’s also the only ones around. Mercedes won’t tell us the exact program budget, and simply warns us that the single EQXX should be considered invaluable, but I think somewhere in the three-car Bugatti Power range.
Like the Bugatti, the EQXX was designed for an engineering brief—in this case to build an electric vehicle capable of at least 621 miles (1,000 kilometers) on a single charge. Like the Bugatti, too, it’s road legal: In April of this year, less than two years after the project was given the green light, the team drove the EV 625 miles (1,066 kilometres) from Sindelfingen in Germany to Cassis, France, arriving with a 15 percent charged state. in the battery.
Two months later, they followed with a longer drive that involved going down fewer mountains, and driving from Stuttgart, Germany to the Silverstone race track in the UK, where Formula E champion Nick de Vries used the remaining charge to drive some hot laps. The car eventually completed 747 miles (1,202 km) before stopping in the pit lane.
But this is not Bugatti and there are no plans to run low-volume production, not even at very exorbitant prices. A one-off, the Vision EQXX is a concept car that comes alive, but it’s more fully realized than any other concept I’ve come across so far. A pure engineering or world-record-breaking workout won’t bother you with a functional infotainment system that uses a single 44″ 8k display, or a fully trimmed interior, even if it uses aloe vera fiber fabric instead of leather, bamboo fiber carpeting, and biotech-derived silk, Among other innovations.
And despite the prized nature of this low-drag electric vehicle, Mercedes allowed Ars to drive the car.
As you might imagine from the way it looks, the Vision EQXX’s shape is more than just aerodynamic optimized. About 62 percent of the work the engine has to do is counter the air resistance, after all. It’s a smaller car than it looks in the photos – about a foot shorter than the EQS produced at 195.9 inches. This includes the long, overhanging nose and tail, so the Vision EQXX’s wheelbase is actually the car’s short, at 110.2 in (2,800 mm).
A narrow 73.6-inch (1,870 mm) width and 53.1-inch (1,348 mm) lower roofline give the vehicle a fairly small front headroom—22.8 sq ft (2.12 m)—and the frontal area works with the drag coefficient, which in these The case is only 0.17, making it one of the least-draged cars ever.
From the nose to the C-pillar it might remind you of a Porsche Taycan, a very slippery customer. The doorknobs retract flushly into the doors, or at least do so in the front; Don’t open the rear doors, one of the few tells us this is a concept and not a production car.
Side view mirrors are a size you might expect to find in a race car rather than something wearing a license plate, but they work well enough. Which is a good thing, because there is no back window. Instead, that space, and the roof, too, is given to a 300-watt solar array that feeds the car’s 12-volt battery which is similar to the traction battery also as a lithium-ion. (Since the unique and priceless car would never be left parked outside for too long, Mercedes didn’t bother adding extra gubbins that would allow the board to charge the traction battery.)
From the rear wheels, it’s unlike anything else, perhaps other than the Lightyear Solo. When parked, the lower portion of the tail retracts into the bodywork, extending outward when the onboard vehicle brain decides it is more efficient to do so.